From the People’s Republic of Tito to the Disintegration of Yugoslavia Part I

By | January 16, 2022

According to a2zdirectory, the merger with politicians of the London government-in-exile under Ivan Šubašić (* 1892, † 1952), agreed under British mediation on November 1, 1944and the expansion of the AVNOJ to a provisional parliament on August 10, 1945, were skillfully used by the greatly increased numbers of Communists to expand their position as part of a popular front. In the elections to the Constituent Assembly on November 11, 1945, in which, according to the electoral law of August 19, 1945, all “collaborators” were excluded from voting, the Popular Front received 90.5% of the votes for the Federal Council and 88.4% % in the Nationalities Council. On November 29th the republic was proclaimed; the royal family went into exile in London. During the restructuring of the country – according to the constitution of January 31, 1946, an extensive copy of the Soviet constitution of 1936, Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (FVRJ) – there was persecution of the Četnici and Ustascha members as well as the expulsion of the Yugoslav Germans (»Donauschwaben«, 1945-48; especially in the Batschka and Banat, Slavonia). The national question should be resolved through the creation of six constituent republics, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the Autonomous Region of Kosovo-Metohija. The Paris Peace (February 10, 1947 with Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria) confirmed the restoration of Yugoslavia within the borders of 1941, which also included the greater part of the Italian province of Venezia Giulia (including Istria), the city of Zara (now Zadar) and the Pelagosa archipelago (today Palagruža) received. The Trieste area became a free state.

In March 1946, Tito, previously Prime Minister at the head of a provisional government, took over the office of head of government under the new constitution. In the course of the trial of D. Mihailović (and twelve other defendants, 10 June – 15 July 1946) and the trial of the Zagreb Archbishop A. Stepinac (October 1946) the Tito government sought to suppress resistance against the communist system of government. In November 1946 the government set up a people’s militia. With the law on land and settlement reform of August 23, 1945, the provisional government of Tito had already started to revolutionize the existing social order: the expropriated land was intended to be used to create federal domains and settlement areas for farmers. The law on the confiscation of “hostile” property in 1946 served to nationalize the entire industry, banking, transport, social security, wholesale and foreign trade and (to a large extent) retail trade. With the Basic Law on the Management of State Business Enterprises and Higher Business Associations by the Workers’ Collective of 27 July

In its foreign policy, Yugoslavia (member of the UN since 1945) joined the “Communist Information Office” (Cominform) in 1947. It concluded friendship treaties with the USSR (1945), with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania (all in 1947). In 1948, as a result of Tito’s refusal to bow to Stalin’s claim to power and to recognize the ideological leadership role of the Soviet Communist Party, the country got into a serious conflict with the USSR. The Cominform, which, under the pressure of Stalin,made Tito’s demandsrejected as “Titoism” according to the law of each country on its own path to socialism, excluded Yugoslavia from its ranks on June 28, 1948. The USSR also terminated the friendship treaty with Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia sought to counter the economic blockade of the communist states of Eastern Europe by rapprochement with the USA and the Western powers it led. It received v. a. Economic aid from the USA.

While strictly observing the one-party system and internal party discipline, the party and state leadership sought to find their own way to socialism. At the suggestion of M. Djilas, the VI. Congress in November 1952 converted the “Popular Front” into a “Socialist League of the Working People”, and the party itself into the “League of Communists of Yugoslavia” (BdKJ). With the establishment of a producers ‘council as the second chamber of parliament, the new constitution of January 13, 1953 elevated the principle of workers’ self-government to constitutional status. In accordance with the new constitution, Tito was elected President of the State and Chairman of the Federal Executive Council on January 14, 1953. The criticism of Djilas the growing bureaucratic apparatus and the dismantling of intra-party democracy caused a severe ideological crisis that led to the exclusion of Djilas from all his party and state offices (January 1954). Between loosening and tightening, the Tito government sought to continue the course of social transformation: By restricting private property to 10 hectares, forced collectivization was lifted (March 1953); upon recognition of narrowly limited home ownership for own residential purposes, the government abolished private home ownership (1958).

In foreign policy, Yugoslavia underlined its independence and in the 1950s increasingly committed itself to a policy of non-alliance in the East-West conflict. Under the influence of the policy of confrontation between the communist states of Europe led by the USSR, Yugoslavia concluded a friendship pact in 1953 and an assistance pact with Greece and Turkey in 1954 (Balkan Pact). In the dispute with Italy over the Free State of Trieste, it agreed with him in the London Treaty of October 1954 on a de facto division of the disputed area (finally resolved in 1975 in the Osimo Treaty). After Stalin’s death (1953), the Yugoslav-Soviet relations gradually eased (including 1955 visit by N. S. Khrushchev and N. A. Bulganins in Yugoslavia); in November 1956,however, Tito condemnedthe invasion of Hungary by Soviet troops and the violent dismissal of the Hungarian government under I. Nagy. In the years that followed, Tito soughtto maintain a balanced distance between the states united in NATO and the Warsaw Pact. He enforced the recognition of the principle of equality and non-interference in the affairs of the other against the USSR (conversation between Tito and Khrushchev 1957). On the one hand, he activated Yugoslav relations with Western powers, on the other hand, he recognized the development of the German question in the Soviet sense (establishment of diplomatic relations with the GDR in 1957). Since Tito’s meeting with the Egyptian Prime Minister G. Abd el-Nasser and the Indian Prime Minister J. Nehru on the island of Brioni (1956), Yugoslavia has increasingly joined the movement of the non-aligned states, demanding a policy of détente, disarmament and the Abolition of the colonial rule of European states still exercised in many third world countries. Against this background, a conference of non-aligned countries took place in Belgrade in 1961 (Belgrade Conference).

With the constitution of April 7, 1963 (constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, FSRJ), the Yugoslav communists (besides Tito especially E. Kardelj) sought to combine the idea of ​​self-government on a socialist basis with an increase in the independence of the individual republics (self-government socialism). In the same month, each republic gave itself its own basic state order in accordance with the federal constitution. The office of state president (Tito’s election for life in June 1963) was separated from that of the head of government (referred to as president of the Federal Executive Council) (inter alia P. Stambolić [* 1912, † 2007], 1963–67, D. Bijedić, 1971-76). The greater independence fixed in the constitution, however, was opposed to the reality of the secured party rule, its bureaucracy and the state secret police determined by it. The economic reforms of 1964/65, pursued by v. a. by Politburo member Vladimir Bakarić (* 1912, † 1983) and E. Kardelj, should serve in particular the liberalization of the economy and the expansion of workers’ self-government. The main beneficiaries, however, were the economically developed republics of Croatia and Slovenia. In July 1966, A. Rankovićbecame vice-president, i.a. Chief of the secret police, removed from his office for abuse of power. With the new constitution, the party also sought to resolve the nationality question (including in April 1967 extension of the rights of the Nationalities Council); However, towards the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, it saw itself increasingly national demands, initially among other things. in Kosovo, then especially contrasted with the Croats (for example in the “Croatian Spring” in 1971). In June 1971, therefore, constitutional amendments were adopted to further federalize Yugoslavia (including collective governing bodies on the basis of national parity).

People's Republic of Tito